Currently available public hospital quality rating systems frequently offer conflicting results, which may mislead stakeholders relying on the ratings to identify top-performing hospitals, according to an analysis published yesterday by NEJM Catalyst. The authors evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of four public hospital quality rating systems based on their experience as physician scientists with methodological expertise in health care quality measurement: the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare overall star ratings; Healthgrades Top Hospitals; U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals; and Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade and Leapfrog Top Hospitals. “Each rating system had unique weaknesses that led to potential misclassification of hospital performance, ranging from inclusion of flawed measures, use of proprietary data that are not validated, and methodological decisions,” the authors said.
 

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